General Question

LBall7's avatar

Is it better to use vinegar or chlorox bleach as a cleaner/sanitizer?

Asked by LBall7 (16 points ) July 23rd, 2008

I’m working on a paper regarding the pros and cons of cleaning with vinegar vs. bleach. Personally, I’ve never cleaned my countertops or rinsed fruit and vegetables with vinegar, but I’ve read some articles that say it kills bacteria. Has anyone used vinegar for cleaning? Is there any good smelling vinegar?

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14 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

I use white vinegar (often mixed with baking soda) for cleaning toilets and the tanks, counter tops, garbage disposals. I try to buy organic, unsprayed produce and rinse in water.

Vinegar smells a lot better than bleach. Lemon juice is a good substitute but very hard on the wrists if you want a half-gallon.

marinelife's avatar

I use white vinegar for lots of household cleaning. We pour it down our A/C drain once a month to kill all the fauna. I use for drain cleaning. Mixed witth salt, it is great for removing tarnish from silver.

Bleach is awfully harsh for most uses. In a 1% solution, I use it to remove mold.

Owly's avatar

Vinegar is much healthier for the environment. Here’s a decent article on cleaning with vinegar. Give it a try!

wabarr's avatar

To the sanitation aspect of the question….I doubt that food grade ascetic acid (aka vinegar) is nearly as effective as chlorine bleach at killing germs.

I also think that many people are overly concerned with sanitization in the home. For most uses (bathroom, kitchen, etc) I believe vinegar is a safer, more environmental solution. For those same reasons, bleach is probably the better choice if you absolutely need to be sure to kill germs.

flameboi's avatar

Vinegar is less toxic :)

marinelife's avatar

@wabarr You are incorrect. Vinegar does kill germs and quite effectively.

“Heinz company spokesperson Michael Mullen references numerous studies to show that a straight 5 percent solution of vinegar—thekind you can buy in the supermarket—kills 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold, and 80 percent of germs (viruses).”

susanc's avatar

I like to decant my white vinegar into a spray
bottle for a good combination of convenience plus
eco-friendliness. I don’t much like the smell either.
I wonder if I put a little oil of geranium in it, would it
decrease its efficiency. I’ll let you know if it suddenly
makes a bloom of mold on the countertops

aaronou's avatar

Vinegar smells!

gailcalled's avatar

Better than breathing in bleach fumes and the odor will dissipate/

waterbearer's avatar

I keep a spray bottle of the “green/peppermint” alcohol in my bathroom to spray the counters and toilet. It smells great and is less toxic.

If you have a septic system, the use of bleach is highly discouraged.

soccer6227's avatar

Bleach is VERY bad for the enviornment…Vinegar works just as well probally even better than Bleach.It’s really eco friendly.

soccer6227's avatar

And also to add on to what I said before my family and I use Vinegar to disenfect things.

Aprilleigh1974's avatar

I use vinegar (white) for everything, along with baking soda for any mild abrasion necessary. My husband has severe asthma, so bleach is completely out of the question. I had pneumonia last year, and my lungs have not been the same since. The one time I’ve used bleach, I had trouble breathing, plus it’s always given me a headache. Vinegar is safer, better for the environment, and probably even cheaper. And you can always buy the generic brand and get the same results! :) Happy cleaning!

alohahousecleaning's avatar

Bleach is extremely basic PH12, which neutralizes most bacteria and germs. Vinegar is on the other end of the PH spectrum with a PH of 2 making it probably the most powerful acid you have in your house. That’s right, even more acidic than CLR or Lime Away. The forces of nature can be freakishly powerful sometimes.

We use vinegar when we clean houses because it is better for your health and the environment and it smells better than bleach. Also, most of the dirty showers we clean have a lot of limescale and mold, vinegar cuts through that stuff like butter.

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